There’s no denying that Johnny Depp has been in the hot seat for a while when it comes to his career and his life. The highly controversial and very public divorce from Amber Heard that divided fans of the star has made it clear that he’s a liability, and has even ended up losing him the role of Jack Sparrow, as well as Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts trilogy. Some claim that this is wildly unfair, while others have made it clear that they think that Depp is washed up and not even remotely in the right for his actions or words. Who’s really to blame and why is a debate that isn’t up for discussion in this article, but the fact is that with another Pirates of the Caribbean movie on the way, or so it would sound, one has to wonder how things are going to go without one of the only constantly great characters that the movies have featured. It does sound as though the next movie won’t be a sequel as it will be a way to move forward without Depp, but while Disney is obviously looking at keeping their reputation and will pick and choose who they think can help them and who will harm them, the fact remains that Jack Sparrow has been one of their greatest characters in the past decade and more.
Hypocrisy does come into play when it comes to who a studio will defend and who it will seek to cut ties with since the varying degree of controversy that a lot of studios deal with when it comes to various actors and their issues don’t appear to be weighed that evenly. A good example would be the various statements concerning politics, culture, and a great many other topics when it comes to certain actors that have been kept and released in regards to Disney’s shows on Disney+. Some characters are hard to replace, and letting them go due to what’s going on in the lives of the actors, which honestly is ridiculous to broadcast in terms of a person’s career, is tough in some cases since the characters they play are integral to a movie, a show, or a franchise.
Jack Sparrow has been vital to the Pirates of the Caribbean no matter that every movie from the third one on has been kind of a dud. At World’s End wasn’t that bad of a movie, but it shifted things away from Jack quite a bit, or so it felt, and by the time Dead Men Tell No Tales came along, it felt as though Disney was out of ideas concerning the main characters, which is kind of evidence by the fact that finding the Trident managed to break every curse laid at sea. This means that without the Trident, a great deal of what made the stories in this franchise up until now would be gone, and there would be little point to the stories any longer, other than to tell a tale that somehow created the same feeling of freedom that piracy represented, which was an odd choice for Disney considering the truth behind piracy back in the period.
But taking this as a story and not as anything factual was important since a simple search of piracy throughout history would reveal the dark and extremely problematic nature of pirates, which is something Disney gets away with because the movies are loosely based on the ride, and the characters were amusing no matter how dark they became. But without Captain Jack, the darker aspects of the story tend to poke through at times, and so far there hasn’t been anyone that could match Depp’s energy and his portrayal of a down and out pirate that exists more by good fortune and the skills he possesses than by anything else. In other words, this movie needs Captain Jack, or it becomes a less than desirable story no matter who’s put in the lead role. IF someone did come along and could manage to create the main character the people enjoyed, then so be it. If people could find an actor that they might embrace just as easily as Captain Jack it would be great.
But it hasn’t happened yet, and it’s fair to think that it might not with any other actor since Depp struck gold with the role of Captain Jack Sparrow since the actor came in swinging for the fences with this part, and he nailed it in a way that few others possibly could. He also had a great supporting cast for three movies, which only made the character greater as the movies continued to be made. Personally, it could have ended with the first movie and things might have been even better since the ending scene of the first movie was absolutely classic.